Every product page on Amazon has what’s known as the Buy Box.
This is the box a user uses to add their product to a cart for checkout or buy immediately, and many Amazon sellers compete to be the designated seller when this button is pressed.
It's commonly found in the upper right-hand corner on any product page, and it offers a frictionless way for a customer to complete a transaction on Amazon especially if one-click checkout is present.
This Amazon Buy Box is coveted real estate, given that roughly 90% of all Amazon sales happen via the Buy Box.
Getting one's seller account to be the preferred one when the buyer clicks the button can be hugely beneficial.
Amazon uses specific algorithms to choose a seller when a customer uses the Buy Box and businesses on Amazon that have a long reputable history, with excellent seller metrics even stand the best chance at owning this precious real estate. In addition to this, for a given product, the seller must provide the most competitive offer for the given product to the customer, such as price, stock availability, shipping timelines, etc.
The Amazon Buy Box is extremely competitive, and before even winning the preferred seller option, one needs to qualify.
This begins with creating an Amazon Seller Account, and meeting a few of their basic standards.
Get a Professional Amazon Seller Account
Only professional Amazon Seller Accounts qualify for access to the Buy Box. This means any individual seller (on Amazon's free plan) doesn't qualify, and it's worth purchasing their Professional plan for $39.99/mo to be considered for Amazon Buy Box.
Only sell new items, and always have stock
Additionally, any items that are being sold must be in ‘new’ condition, no used items are allowed, and they must be in stock. Whenever the seller account is out of stock, the Buy Box will consider the seller not qualified for that particular product and move on to another seller.
These two put you in contention for Amazon’s Buy Box for a particular item, but there’s much more that goes into winning the buy box.
Improving a Seller’s chances for Amazon Buy Box
A variety of factors influence the algorithms Amazon uses to determine which seller is worthy of being included in Amazon’s Buy Box roster.
A long-running reputation of excellent service and product quality, competitive prices, and fast shipping form the pillars of providing the best value for a customer.
If a seller can optimize these areas, they stand a good chance of getting Amazon Buy Box for their products. Let’s dive into these areas below:
For Amazon, a lot rides on their Amazon Buy Box. If the majority of transactions happen through it, then they better ensure that the best customer experience is provided when a buyer trusts using the Buy Box.
What this means is Amazon’s going to choose sellers that have an excellent reputation. Amazon’s algorithms are going to look for sellers with outstanding customer feedback and ratings. Sellers with a long history of maintaining such high service standards, both in the quality of products received and customer service provided.
A significant factor in ensuring a seller is part of Amazon's Buy Box involves competitive pricing.
Simply down pricing an offering itself won't guarantee Buy Box as it's only one of the factors influencing the algorithms. Evaluate the unit economics of a given product to ensure it's still profitable but offers comparable final price values (sales + shipping +handling) to other sellers for a given product.
Amazon aims to deliver products as fast as possible to its customers, and as a seller, this means fast-shipping options ensure one's a strong contender for Amazon Buy Box.
Evaluating shipping options and striking the right balance of price and speedy delivery is necessary with a goal to offer two-day shipping at a minimum. Amazon tends to prefer items that are Prime and in stock at their fulfillment centers since they can guarantee a fast fulfillment and shipping speed. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to help here where a seller that utilizes FBA will allow Amazon to pick, pack, ship, and handle returns on the seller's behalf.
Amazon will favor businesses on its platform that uses FBA as it ensures Amazon has greater control over the customer experience. Their vast logistics network can ensure fast-shipping times are offered and met, and their customer service is top-notch. Amazon will naturally be skeptical of independent sellers fulfilling their own products, versus using Amazons. This naturally translates into less preference in using those sellers in their Buy Box.
Amazon accounts for nearly 50% of all e-commerce transactions, and 90% of those transactions now occur through Amazon's Buy Box.
As a seller, every effort needs to be put into earning a place on Amazon's Buy Box to succeed in the e-commerce world as shopping season approaches. It's the key to success when it comes to online shopping, and the best way to maximize Amazon's platform for business results.